TS Maria expected to become major hurricane by midweek [map updated]

168pm

The National Hurricane Center’s 8 p.m. PST update shows Tropical Storm Maria reaching major hurricane strength sometime midweek. (NHC)

HOLT, Fla., Sept. 16, 2017–Tropical depression 15 has become Tropical Storm Maria and is expected to grow to major hurricane strength.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Maria, the 13th named storm this season, to become a hurricane by midweek as it makes its way toward Puerto Rico in about four days.

Moving at 19 mph, the storm is expected to slow down as it moves west-northwest.

Maria is moving over ideal conditions of low wind shear, warm waters and lots of moisture, according to the NHC, which should contribute to Maria’s expected strengthening during the next three-to-four days.

Tropical Storm Lee has been moving west with no significant change in strength.

The storm has a slight possibility to strengthen during the next day or so, but wind shear is likely to prevent significant intensification, according to the NHC.

Weakening is anticipated from 48 hours onward causing Lee to likely to become a depression within the next three days and degenerate into a remnant low by midweek.

 

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